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Where is This Slop Going? Will it Snow Christmas Day?

23 Dec 2008, 12:31 pm
Precipitation Type Animation - Click for Full Size
Precipitation Type Animation - Click for Full Size
Precipitation Type Forecast Christmas Morning - Click for Full Size
Precipitation Type Forecast Christmas Morning - Click for Full Size

Quick update on the transition of the precipitation pattern over America’s Heartland. For the last few days we have discussed the mix of snow, freezing rain, and liquid precipitation that will truck along the central United States to exit the country through the eastern Great Lakes and New England.

The question is, where will it snow, where will their be a mix of slop, and where will it rain?

In the early morning post we showed you a quick glance of forecast snowdepth, so for this late morning post I thought you might enjoy a look at forecast precipitation type based upon the 12z model run. There are four fields in this product, where precipitation type is defined as either liquid precipitation, snow, freezing rain, or sleet.

To view the animation select the image above left, or click here. Notice the swath of greens, reds, purples, and whites that flow in a general northeastern direction beginning in the southcentral United States (note legend on the graphic where green is rain, white snow etc). This is the progression of the surface low we have been discussing. On this morning’s 12z run, notice that the transition of liquid precipitation and snow is further north than it was, even from the 06z run. This is not an uncommon occurrence as models try to balance out the dynamics of a system, small transitory shifts with forecasts of conditions at the surface nearly always occur.

Also notice that as the first batch of weather moves through, another is forecast for the northern great plains beginning late Thursday evening to Friday morning, where a range from the upper great plains to the midwest will experience another glorious mix of winter muck =)

Of course the Pacific Northwest can’t be left out of the mix, as Christmas Eve ushers in another influx of snow that will transition through the Rockies, with rain falling from the central California Valley all along the southern coast.

Just for grins and giggle I also posted a forecast precipitation type graphic for Christmas Morning. Select the graphic at top right, or click here to see if the early morning conditions are what you want, or turn out as they were forecast! Of course if you want to see precipitation types throughout Christmas day, refer to the animation and note the valid time stamp at the bottom of the graphic.

Please be sure to view our Advisory and Radar Centers for the latest updates and developments.

As always stay tuned to your favorite weather outlet, stay informed, and stay safe!



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